Volume 50, Issue 8 - August 2015

50 Years of Glass

The last 50 years have been packed with more glass innovation than the industry has seen since the Mesopotamians developed their first molten glass vessels. Today’s glass industry is a far cry from the products, standards and companies that created the landscape we saw in 1966, when USGlass magazine was launched.

Sir Alastair Pilkington invented the float glass process, revolutionizing the way glass was manufactured.

June 1966
Jim Powell launches USGlass magazine as the official publication of the Flat Glass Marketing Association. He hires John Lawo, who purchased the magazine soon after.


Accredited Standards Committee develops the American National Standard for Safety Glazing Materials Used in Buildings —Safety Performance Specifications and Methods of Test (today ANSI Z97.1).

First glasstec held in Germany.

October 1973

OPEC embargo leads to an oil crisis that prompts the United States to focus on new energy solutions.

Solar Energy Research Institute (later renamed the National Renewable Energy Laboratory) is founded.

January 1974
Flat Glass Marketing Association celebrates 25th anniversary.

March 1974
Flat Glass Marketing Association forms Flat Glass Energy Conservation Committee.

McGraw Hill publishes first industry profile of glazing contractors, showing 2,577 glazing firms in business doing $444 million in work.

Safety Glazing Association is launched.

ASHRAE releases Standard 90P to promote the energy-efficient design of new buildings.

July 1977
Consumer Product Safety Commission Safety Standard for Architectural Glazing Materials 16 CFR 1201 goes into effect.

First Vitrum held in Italy.

Second oil crisis occurs in the United States due to decreased oil output in the wake of the Iranian Revolution.

Introduction of the first low-E glass by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Suntek Research Associates (later Southwall Technologies).

Pilkington Group acquires Libbey-Owens-Ford.

Ted Hathaway joins then Oldcastle Inc. (now Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®)as
vice president of development.

December 1989
National Fenestration Rating Council is launched.

April 4, 1990

Oldcastle Inc. acquires HGP Industries, forming Oldcastle Glass.

Tamglass launches Glass Processing Days (now Glass Performance Days) conference in Finland.

Bath Enclosure Manufacturers Association is launched.

August 1992
Hurricane Andrew hits Florida.

November 1992
Debra Levy writes her first column as a freelancer for USGlass about the Southeast Glass Expo ’92.

August 1993
Debra Levy forms Key Communications Inc.; purchases USGlass magazine and Architects’ Guide to
Glass and Metal.

February 1993
After contributing periodic feature articles to USGlass magazine, Lyle Hill is added as a regular columnist, and writes his first management column, “The Tough Sell.”

Glass Association of North America is launched following the merger of the Flat Glass Marketing Association, the Glass Tempering Association and the Laminators Safety Glass Association.

USGlass launches the Glass & Metal Hall of Fame™.

Holly Biller begins working after school as a part-time admin assistant. Today, Biller works full time as a Keycomm vice president responsible for USGlass digital products, events, marketing and more.

April 1995
Bombing of Alfred P. Murrah Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City.

Shows abound, Glass Expo Rocky Mountain™, Glass Expo Pacific Northwest™ and Glass Expo Northeast™ make their

March 1996

USGlass launches its online portal, www.usglassmag.com.


Window Film magazine spun out and launched as FILM®


Technology for switchable glazing becomes available.

The International Code Council establishes its International Energy Conservation Code.

January 1998
Tara Taffera joins Key Communications as USGlass assistant editor, and wrote her first article in the April 1998 issue reviewing the National Windshield Repair Association Convention. She took over as editor in December 1998. Today she serves as vice president of editorial services, overseeing all of Key Communications publications.

March 1998

U.S. Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and fenestration industry launch Energy Star Windows Program.

27-28, 1998

Glass Forum™ launched in Manchester, N.H.

September 11-12, 1998
Glass TEXpo™ launched in Houston.

December 1998

AFG Industries, Guardian Industries, Pilkington LOF, PPG Industries and Ford Motor Co. accused of price fixing from 1986 to 1995.

National Fenestration Rating Council announces plans for a Site-Built Rating and Certification Program for fenestration systems in commercial buildings.

USGlass spins its Auto Glass Quarterly section into a separate publication, Auto Glass Repair and Replacement (AGRR™) magazine.

19-20, 1999

Glass Expo Hawaii™ launched in Oahu, Hawaii.

June 25-26, 1999

Glass Expo Calgary™ launched in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

October 1999
A 2-foot-square, 1⁄2-inch-thick lite of glass drops 29 floors from the CNA Building on Chicago’s S. Wabash Avenue, hitting and killing 37-year-old Ana Flores.

April 1999
USGlass launches its first Contract Glazing Survey.

The U.S. Green Building Council launches its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.

AGRR™ magazine named winner, Best New Magazine of the Year, American Society of Business Press Editors’ Award.

February 2000
Ellen Rogers joins Key Communications as USGlass assistant editor, and wrote her first article in the March 2000 issue on what it takes to have an effective website. She was named managing editor in September 2000 and took over as editor in April 2003. She continues to serve as editor of USGlass.

March 2000

Key Communications Inc. launches www.glass.com.

March 19-21, 2000

Spring Glass Expo/International Window Film Expo™ launched in Las Vegas, the precursor to Auto Glass Week and the International Window FIlm Conference.

October 2000

Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance launched from the merger of Insulating Glass Manufacturers of Canada and Sealed Insulating Glass Manufacturers Association.

November 2000

USGlass spins its window manufacturing section into a separate publication, Door and Window Maker (DWM) (now Door and Window Market) magazine, making it the only publication devoted exclusively to the residential door and window manufacturing industry.

North American Association of Mirror Manufacturers joins the Glass Association of North America.

Greg Abel founds Advocates for Safe Glass.

June 2001

Pilkingon announces its
“self-cleaning” glass product.

September 2001
World Trade Center in New York City destroyed in terrorist attack.

October 2001
USGlass publishes its special report on how the events of September 11 affected the glass industry.

How The Times Have Changed

USGlass is proud to have always been on the forefront of industry trends … even when some of those trends make us cringe in retrospect. Do you remember when distorted glass was the norm and computers at work were the exception?

Nothing Safer. The August 1967 USGlass featured an advertisement promoting the inherent safety of wire glass in our educational spaces. “Mississippi Wire Glass Assures Protection Plus in Putnam County Senior High School,” the ad stated.

Imagine, Women in the Workplace! In the December 1970 USGlass, labor columnist Harry Brown wrote, “We have not heretofore discussed the Equal Employment Opportunity Act [of 1972], but perhaps some consideration in these columns would be in order in view of the new Senate action, and the even more recent activities of the women’s liberation front, sometimes characterized as a braless but prettier Viet Cong…” The article goes on to explore examples of discrimination to avoid at work.

Beware That Coated Glass. In July 1974 columnist Otto Wenzler cautioned glaziers on the rapidly expanding use of glass with heat-reflecting coatings, stating “Large samples of these glasses should be shown to the architect ... so that he will know about the distorted reflection of linear objects by these glasses ... After all the reflective glasses are quite new.”

A Time Before Federal Research? Dr. Samuel Berman took time in November 1976 to write to USGlass about a new research program in which he participated. In his letter, he wrote, “We have talked about how nice it would be if the federal government would use some of our tax dollars to sponsor useful research related to windows and lighting systems … As a result of their increased attention to the importance of energy conservation, a new research and demonstration program is now underway at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory of the University of California.”

How Do The Wonder Machines Work? In the September 1974 USGlass columnist Bob Haugaard writes, “We read and hear so much about computers these days that it is inevitable that the ‘wonder machines’ are coming in for a lot of undue criticism.”

These Newfangled Codes. Remember the good old days when codes weren’t such a bother? With the introduction of new protective glazing and environmental codes, the growth of regional codes, particularly in hurricane regions, and the resulting need for increased engineering, glaziers were finding in 2004 that storefront and entrance systems were not as economical as they once were.

The New Kid in Town. “China will be the new force to reckon with, particularly with commodity products,” said one senior fabricator official in 2004. “They have invested heavily in technology and it is just a matter of time before they will be on U.S. soil,” he added.

Coming Clean. With growing discussions about the development of what was then referred to as “self-cleaning glass,” Debra Levy writes, “The problem inherent with this is that none of the glasses are truly ‘self-cleaning.’ Each of the manufacturers will tell you this. The glasses require minimal effort to clean, but you have to do something (apply water, etc.) to get it clean. It doesn’t just magically shed dirt and remain clean without some type of human intervention.” In that column she announced that USGlass would no longer use the term “self-cleaning glass.”

DWM named winner, Best New Magazine of the Year, American Society of Business Press Editors’ Award.

AGRR™ magazine wins Editorial Excellence Award, Feature Series, American Society of Business Press Editors.

February 2002
USGlass hosts debate between wired-glass advocates and opponents.


Total glass imports to the United States exceed exports for the first time, says the U.S. Department of Commerce.

January 2003
USGlass launches its Product of the Year Awards.

February 2003
The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance launches its Certification Program for the ASTM E 2190 Harmonized Insulating Glass Standard.

March 2003
Oldcastle Glass acquires its first manufacturer of aluminum glazing systems, Southwest Aluminum systems.

USGlass launches its news site at www.usgnn.com for daily breaking news and rolls out the industry’s first daily e-newsletter.

August 2003
The American Architectural Manufacturers Association raises concern about alleged Chinese trade infringements in the areas of dumping, currency manipulation and intellectual property piracy.

USGlass selected as the official publication of the Glass Association of North America.

ANSI publishes Z97.1, Glazing Materials Used in Buildings, Safety Performance Specifications and Methods of Test, a revision of ANSI Z97.1-1984 (R1994).

The Solaire, dubbed “the world’s first green residential high-rise,” was completed in New York City.

May 2004
Megan Headley joins Key Communications as USGlass assistant editor, and wrote her first article in the September 2004 issue on the state of the western glass industry. She has also served as editor of USGlass and today
she is a special projects editor.

International Code Council limits the use of wired glass in all building structures in areas subject to human impact, ending the exemption in place since 1977.

June 2-4, 2004
Glass Expo Niagara launched in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

August 2004
OBE™ acquires Floral Glass.


International Window Film Conference & Expo becomes the International Window Film Conference, Expo and Tint-Off™ in Orlando, Fla.

Auto Glass Technician Competition launched.

February 2005
USGlass publishes its First Annual Book of Lists.

August 2005

Hurricane Katrina becomes the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.

Windshield Repair Competition launched.

China exports more glass than any other country for the first time.

June 2006

Nippon Sheet Glass acquires Pilkington Group.

July 2006
U.S. home prices peak.

November 2006
Paul Bieber joins as a USGlass columnist and blogger.

July 2007
Oldcastle Glass (now Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®) acquires The Vistawall Group.

September 2007

USGlass launches its daily blogs.

USGlass launches its first digital edition (HTML versions are available back to 1998).

Asahi Glass Co. Ltd. unifies its operations—AFG Industries in North America and Glaverbel in Europe—under the AGC symbol. 

Glass Education for Architects, Too

In addition to the glazing industry, Key Communications, publisher of USGlass magazine, is also focused on educating architects and designers. The Architects’ Guide to Glass & Metal magazine has been published since the 1970s, beginning as an annual guide to glazing products.

The publication, however, has evolved. Now, not only does it offer an in-depth look at architectural designs, trends and developments in glass and metal, but it also brings those concepts to life with project stories and insight from architects. It is published three times a year and reaches more than 19,000 subscribers.

In addition to the magazine, The Architects’ Guide to Glass & Metal also produces an e-newsletter, which features unique glazing projects, and organizes the Architects Forum™ educational event.


October 2007
Pella Co. acquires EFCO Corp.

The stock market hits an all-time high and the Department of Commerce notes the first decline in construction starts since 1991.

October 31-November 3, 2007
Auto Glass Week™ launched in Las Vegas.

November 2007
The European Commission fines four glass manufacturing companies approximately USD $719.2 million for price-fixing.

December 2007
The U.S. Great Recession officially begins. Many industry bankruptcies would follow.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 is signed into law, including an initiative to develop technology and policies that will encourage 100 percent of all commercial building to be zero-net-energy by 2050.

Apogee acquires Tubelite.

The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance completes its 25-year field study on correlation of in-service IG unit failures to ASTM E 773 and ASTM E 774.

March 2008

C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. acquires Sommer & Maca.

April 2008
USGlass explores how BIM is being used in the construction industry.

AGC Flat Glass announces major restructuring that affected nearly 1,000 employees.

July 2008

USGlass publishes its first in-depth report on glass’ role in solar energy.

The Federal Trade Commission holds public workshops to examine green claims in the building industry, and put an end to false ones.

February 2009
USGlass joins the Twitter community. (@usglass)

March 2009
Industry mourns the death of Bill Davidson, owner and CEO of Guardian Industries.

April 2009
USGlass launches the industry’s first monthly newscast.

May 2009
The Department of Energy updates its Energy Star criteria to include a map with four climate zones.

June 2009

The longest downturn in postwar history officially ends.

October 2009

Energy Star launches a new rating that covers facility energy performance indicators for flat glass manufacturers.

December 2009

USGlass joins the Facebook community. (facebook.com/USGlassMagazine)

National Fenestration Rating Council approves component modeling approach for rating the energy efficiency of nonresidential products.

January 2010

Zeledyne, manufacturer of Versalux, exits commercial glass production.

February 2010

USGlass article “Millions Spent, Nothing Gained,” an exposé on the foreign glass specified for the World Trade Center, is named a finalist for American Business Media’s Neal Award for Best Single Article.

Sun Capital acquires the assets of Arch Aluminum & Glass Co. Inc.

March 2010

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission updates labeling requirements for safety glass fabricators to comply with CPSC 16 CFR 1201.

Congress passes the Building Star Energy Efficiency Rebate Act of 2010.

Architects’ Forum™ launched
(preceded by the Architects’
Educational Program in October 2007).

Fenestration Day™ launched.

April 2010
The Environmental Protection Agency proposes rulemaking on “Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program for Public and Commercial Buildings.”

OSHA launches a new Severe Violator Enforcement Program and increases civil penalty amounts for workplace injuries and fatalities.

May 2010
The International Code Council ends discussions on fire-rated glazing labeling with simplified requirements for door assemblies and a chart defining each marking.

June 2010
Alcoa announced acquisition of Traco.

Oldcastle Glass announces name change to Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®.

November 2010

USGlass launches its Green Design Awards.

The Center for Sustainable Building Research and the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute publish study on need for window life cycle assessments.

January 2011

Quanex Corp. acquires Edgetech I.G.

March 2011
Four glass manufacturers are named in a price-fixing complaint.

President Obama unveils his Better Buildings Initiative to make commercial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020.

April 2011

Sun Capital acquires United Glass Corp.

May 2011
FE5 Tornado hits Joplin, Mo.

June 2011

Sun Capital acquires assets of Vitro America LLC at auction.

July 2011
C.R. Laurence acquires U.S. Aluminum.

September 2011
Russ Ebeid, president of Guardian Glass Group, retires.

November 2011

President Obama overturns an earlier measure requiring government owners to withhold 3 percent of payments to contractors until they pay their federal taxes.

January 2012
Grey Mountain Partners acquires the assets of Global Security Glazing, Binswanger Glass, Custom Components Co. and Columbia Commercial Building Products.


The International Code Council publishes the International Green Construction Code.

The International Code Council requires the use of laminated glass in handrail assemblies, guardrails or guard sections.

February 2012

USGlass article “A Tale of Three Cities—And Lots of Broken Glass” named a finalist for American Business Media’s Neal Award for Best News Coverage.

Trainor Glass closes its doors, just one year after being named the largest contract glazier by USGlass.

March 2012
USGlass launches its annual glass usage forecast.

June 2012
Window Film magazine named National Gold Award Winner, Best Webcast Series, American
Society of Business Press Editors.

July 2012
ASTM International approves a new standard, ASTM E2875/ E2875M, Guide for Personal Protective Equipment for the Handling of Flat Glass.

August 2012
The Federal Trade Commission warns Cardinal Glass Industries and 14 window manufacturers against making unsupported energy savings claims.

October 2012

Koch Industries purchases minority stake in Guardian Industries.

November 2012
The U.S. Department of Commerce subjects imports of unitized Chinese curtainwall to a tariff.

The HPD Collaborative releases its Health Product Declaration, V1.

Key Communications’ Window Film magazine named National Gold Award Winner, Best Webcast Series, American Society of Business
Press Editors.

November 2013
DuPont agrees to sell its Glass Laminating Solutions/ Vinyls segment to Kuraray.

February 2014
DWM magazine named Finalist, Best Webcast Series DWM Video Newscast, American Business Media Neal Award.

March 2014

National Institute of Standards and Technology Joplin tornado study is first to recommend adopting standards and model codes for tornado-resistant buildings.

June 2014

USGlass was named a Bronze Regional Award Winner for its Special Section, “Shattering the Original Glass Ceiling,” by the American Society of Business Press Editors.

August 2014

Five of eight steelmakers settle an ongoing lawsuit stemming from alleged price-fixing.

The California Supreme Court rules architects in the state owe a “duty of care” to future owners beyond the initial builder with whom the architect did business.

September 2014

Zhang Jianjun in China sets Guinness record for the most panes of tempered glass run through consecutively—22.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to report all work-related in-patient hospitalizations to OSHA within 24 hours.

November 2014
Glazing contractors report seeing longer lead times, nearly double the times seen at the beginning of the year, for virtually all types of glass across the board.

The Protective Glazing Council International to become part of the Glass Association of North America’s protective glazing committee.

60 percent of new office construction is “green” building, amounting to $16 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.

December 2014
Trulite Glass & Aluminum Solutions LLC acquires the U.S. commercial fabrication assets of AGC Glass Co. North America Inc.


USGlass wins Construction Writers Association’s prestigious Boger Award for its May 2013 issue on school safety.

Window Film magazine named National Silver Award Winner, Gold Regional Award Winner, Best Webcast Series, American Society of Business Press Editors’ Award.

DWM magazine named National Gold Award Winner, Gold Regional Award Winner, Best News Video, American Society of Business Press Editors’ Award.

USGlass wins National Bronze Award, How-To Article: More Than Meets the Eye, American Society of Business Press Editors’ Award.

USGlass named Regional
Award Finalist, Front Cover Buyers Guide, December 2014, American Society of Business Press Editors’ Award.

DWM named Regional Finalist, Best Webcast Series, DWM Video Newscast, American Society of Business Press Editors’ Award.

Window Film magazine named Regional Finalist, Best Webcast Series, FILM’d Video Newscast, American Society of Business Press Editors’ Award.

March 2015

Finishing Contractors Association and Administrative Management Systems launch North American Contractor Certification for Architectural Glass and Metal.

August 2015
USGlass begins its year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary.

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